Astrea Academy Dearne: Local Committee Opportunities
Astrea Academy Trust is a family of over twenty schools in South Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire, focusing on Opportunity Areas of historical educational disadvantage. The Trust has been recognised by the Department for Education as being well-placed to raise standards and achieve excellence for pupils in a growing number of academies. We are presented with a rare opportunity to make a real difference to the lives and life chances of so many children who have not had the opportunities they deserve.
How do our committee members make a difference and support the vision for the school?
Our local committees provide a forum for support and challenge to the Principals. Through these, they hold the school’s leadership to account for meeting the ambitions of the Trust. Local committees are particularly important in helping the school to understand and reflect the needs of its local community and they also serve a supervisory function in important areas such as outcomes and safeguarding.
What kind of people you are looking for?
Anybody with a passion for education and a willingness to commit time to meetings, visits and training will be warmly welcomed. Astrea values having a mix of skills, experience and insights on the committee and will work with the candidate and the school to ensure the right match. A commitment to the values and ethos of the Trust as well as to the Nolan Principles for Standards in Public Life is essential. Full safeguarding checks will be carried out on anybody appointed to a local committee.
What you offer committee members in return/can they expect to get out of it?
The single biggest reward for our committee members is knowing that they are part of a family of professionals and volunteers who are making a difference to children’s lives.
Volunteers will visit the school on a regular basis and gain a rich understanding of school life; they will also have access to training and professional guidance as well as the opportunity to specialise in a particular area such as safeguarding or special educational needs. In time, there will be opportunities to take on the chair of the committee. As committee members, our volunteers gain important skills and experience that are highly valued by employers.
How different is this role from that of a maintained school governor?
Legally, Astrea’s governors are its Trustees and it is the Trust Board or the central team that make the final decisions on budgets, performance management and policy. This allows the local committees to focus on school improvement and being a champion for individual schools, or small clusters of schools, within the Trust and the local community. The local committee’s role is one of influence, rather than decision-making power and legal responsibility. The role is important and highly-valued by the Trust; each Hub of schools (Barnsley, Doncaster and Sheffield) has a Link Trustee, who will meet chairs termly to receive feedback, which is taken to Board level.
Note from the Principal
It is with great pride that I am able to introduce myself as the Principal of the academy. As a parent first, I am resolutely determined to secure an outstanding provision for our community and to ensure that the children who attend our academy have access to the same futures as my own children.
It is our vision to create outstanding young people who are courageous champions of diversity, equality and mutual respect and who are proud of their community and are enthusiastic advocates of learning.
I am proud to be the Principal of the Dearne; I am proud of our community; I am proud of its history and I am excited about our future. I hope you want to be part of our adventure!
Best wishes, Joanne Wilson, Principal
If you would like to find out more about this opportunity please contact Fran Lightfoot firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an informal chat.